Google Glass partners with maker of Ray-Ban, Oakley for more stylish headwear

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2014
While the developer preview of Glass has established the heads-up display as advanced technology, it's also earned Google's headwear a reputation for being unfashionable --?something the company hopes to address with a new partnership with the Luxottica Group.

Glass


Luxottica is a maker of premium, luxury and sports eyewear, best known for its house brands Ray-Ban, Oakley, Persol, and Oliver Peoples. The company also creates eyewear under license for designer labels including Armani, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Coach, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Tory Burch, and Versace.

Google announced this week that it's agreed to a new partnership with Luxottica, revealing that the company will bring its "design and manufacturing expertise" to future iterations of Glass. Google also plans to leverage Luxottica's retail and wholesale distribution channels to put Glass on as many faces as possible.
Google believes it will need numerous different design options for Glass to catch on with mainstream users.
"You're not going to see Glass on your favorite Oakleys or Ray-Bans tomorrow, but today marks the start of a new chapter in Glass's design," the company said, calling Glass the "next chapter" in the long history of eyewear.

Currently there are 40 different ways for Google Glass testers to customize their device. However, given that glasses represent a major fashion statement, Google admitted that the number of choices is "not enough" for Glass to catch on with the mainstream.

Critics have said the same about the growing smart watch market, as early manufacturers only offer their designs in a handful of styles, at most. Making devices that can be both functional and fashionable may be one of the biggest obstacles faced by upcoming wearable technology.

Google Glass, in particular, has been slammed by some critics for being too "geeky" for the average person to wear, at least in its current form. AppleInsider had the opportunity to test out Glass last year and found that wearing it could make other people uncomfortable.

Ex-Apple executive Tony Fadell, now a Google employee through the company's acquisition of smart thermostat maker Nest, revealed last year that Apple experimented with building augmented reality headgear, but ultimately decided the technology wasn't worth it. Apple's prototype devices were said to be "visors" that made the wearer feel as though they were "sitting in a theater."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,114moderator
    I can see the future headline now:

    Apple brings down companies via competition, Google via partnering

    If I were Oakley or Ray-Ban the last thing I'd want to do to my eyewear is add a geeky computer and camera. Oh well, get your shades now while they're still cool.
  • Reply 2 of 40

    Not a surprise as Luxottica Group owns 99.9% of the glasses market.

    Saw a special on them on 60 minutes last year.  Kind of depressing the monopoly they have on the eye glasses market.  They own all of the main brands out there and price fix like crazy.

  • Reply 3 of 40
    buckalecbuckalec Posts: 192member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

     

    Not a surprise as Luxottica Group owns 99.9% of the glasses market.

    Saw a special on them on 60 minutes last year.  Kind of depressing the monopoly they have on the eye glasses market.  They own all of the main brands out there and price fix like crazy.


    Discovered that too last year - not only did they own the Eye Care plan I was on but the major retail outlets - scary biscuits

  • Reply 4 of 40
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member

    Here's the Deal, Google!

     

     image

     

    Fits any head. Bendable for comfortable vision.

    The patent on the deelyboppers is surely up for grabs and gettable  for pocket change. 

  • Reply 5 of 40
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,620member

    Borg chic?  No thanks.

  • Reply 6 of 40
    brlawyerbrlawyer Posts: 828member
    It will look ridiculously geeky no matter how many "cool" companies you partner with.

    Only a true nerd to buy that fugly POS.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    davendaven Posts: 538member

    Google glass - $1500. Stylized version of Google glass - $2000. Getting punched in the face because someone thinks you are spying on them - Priceless!

  • Reply 8 of 40
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    kindredmac wrote: »
    Not a surprise as Luxottica Group owns 99.9% of the glasses market.
    Saw a special on them on 60 minutes last year.  Kind of depressing the monopoly they have on the eye glasses market.  They own all of the main brands out there and price fix like crazy.

    Yup. I need new glasses, and I'm making a point of avoiding Luxottica – it's not easy. Most of the alternatives are budget Chinese no-names, super high-end like Cartier or simply unavailable in Europe (like Randolph Engineering).
  • Reply 9 of 40
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    After leaping into the Risky Business...

     

     

    of the wearable computer market in an attempt to be the Top Gun...

     

     

    Google instead finds instead they have a Hangover...

     

     

    and are definitely feeling the Blues.

     

     

    Is it time to forget about it...

     

     

    Before things get really dirty?

     

  • Reply 10 of 40
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Zandros View Post





    Yup. I need new glasses, and I'm making a point of avoiding Luxottica – it's not easy. Most of the alternatives are budget Chinese no-names, super high-end like Cartier or simply unavailable in Europe (like Randolph Engineering).



    Mine are OGA (Morel, though that might be a high end. Though they're out of France so they should be available in Europe

  • Reply 11 of 40
    foadfoad Posts: 697member

    The fashion industry, which is where Luxottica operates in, as a whole is run by by only a handful of companies and there is more and more consolidation. It is hard to avoid it.

     

    I think this was probably the only route Google could take seeing as how the industry is structured.

  • Reply 12 of 40
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member

    So why should Luxottica/Ray-Ban worry about what a pack of whiners and complainers think about their business dealings? As if any of you would pony up for Ray-Bans anyway! As if any of you would pony up for Glass! Pfft.

  • Reply 13 of 40
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,687member

    It doesn't matter how stylish they make them, these will be getting socially awkward people who have no manners into trouble, and deservedly so.

     

    You don't wear your Google Glasses into a bar, like some dumb lady recently did. If somebody is looking for trouble, then chances are that it will find them.

  • Reply 14 of 40
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,449member

    Google Glass is not going to take off until the technology can effectively hide in a normal pair of glasses without altering the style. 

  • Reply 15 of 40
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,071member
    gtr wrote: »

    Elwood: It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing Glass.
    Jake: F.... You.
    gtr wrote: »

    A man's gotta know his limitations? Sounds about right :-)
  • Reply 16 of 40
    georgeip5georgeip5 Posts: 225member
    Not gonna happen. There gonna fight over each other if there interested. And if not then not a chance.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,304member

    Google partners with Luxottica, Facebook buys Oculus VR... What's next? Microsoft buys Lens Crafters?

  • Reply 18 of 40
    waybacmacwaybacmac Posts: 309member

    My take…Luxottica gets bunch of money from Google; Google gets some frames with fancy names like Ray-Ban, Oakley, etc. Google then discovers that the people buying the new frames are people who would buy Glass anyway but are now willing to pay more for a premium name; and the premium price for premium names is only further discouraging people would would not buy Glass in the first place.

  • Reply 19 of 40
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,408member

    Oakley? Great choice! A company well known for their good taste and fashion sense.

     

     

  • Reply 20 of 40
    waybacmacwaybacmac Posts: 309member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

     

    Oakley? Great choice! A company well known for their good taste and fashion sense.

     

     


    HOT DAMN! You've discovered the villain for the next Batman movie!!!! <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

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